You may have encountered the Montessori philosophy when you were impressed by the fact that a friend of yours wore his shoes on his own before you had a child, maybe while you were researching something to prepare for your child before he was born, or maybe while researching school when it was time for kindergarten. Sometimes philosophy may interest you, but “am I late”, “I do not have enough information”, “I cannot send my child to Montessori school, won’t he be confused?” You can take a step back because of questions like. Don’t stop! Never too late for anything! Understanding the essence of philosophy is the first step for Montessoric Parenting * and a step that is so empowering that the continuation will surely follow.
I have some comforting news for you: you don’t need to know everything, to be fully equipped to get started. You get on the road, your learning adventure continues on the road. To get started, here are a few principles that might be helpful.
Respect Your Child
“What Is This Montessori?” in my article titled I mentioned that respect lies at the basis of the Montessori philosophy. As a first step, we must recognize that our child is a respectable individual, just as we respect the adults around us. We must respect his uniqueness, speed, needs, the path he chooses for himself. Our child’s relationship with us forms the basis of the relationships he will establish in the future, precisely for this reason, the respect we will offer them is very precious. In this way, he will feel that he is heard, cared for, accepted and loved in every way and then he will establish relationships with people on the basis of respect.
For example, “Can I tell this to my friend?” As a control mechanism in our communication with our child. We can ask ourselves the question. For example, you are having dinner with a friend, would you tell him “Come on, how long have you been busy, finish your meal now” in anger; Or is it very normal to have a chat and eat something that doesn’t bother you? Well, can you comfortably say the same sentence to your child who is lingering at the table?
Prepare for him an environment in which he can exist
The preparation of the place we live in as an environment that will meet the needs of all of us and enable us to spend time in peace, order and peace is a step that will make our lives easier. For this, we may need to make some minor arrangements so that our child can meet his needs at home independently from us. Sit cross-legged in all areas of use in your home and have a look around to identify the necessary arrangements. What do you see, what can you access at that level, do you have access to tools that you can meet your basic needs? This experience, where you look at your home from your child’s point of view, will show you where to take into account in your home. The following two mottos will bring light to you when making arrangements at home: “LESS IS MORE” “EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE AND EVERYTHING IS WHERE IT SHOULD BE”
Costly decorative solutions are not necessary for this. For example, a nail that you nail at eye level to your child’s wall at the entrance of your house can be a place where your child can hang his coat.
Improve your child’s independence
Once you’ve designed every space in your home that your child will need to support their independence so that they can use it alone, take a step back. Children enjoy being able to do real things on their own, such as washing dishes, filling water, brushing their teeth. Don’t help unless they ask you for help, just make sure that when you do help, you really only help, not instead. Because what Maria Montessori says “Any unnecessary help undermines the development of the child.”
For example, give him the opportunity to dress himself, it can take much longer when they do it alone, sometimes they may wear their t-shirt upside down, they may make incompatible choices for you, but as they experience and achieve, they will feel enormous pleasure.
Give freedom within borders
A small number of rules and a prepared environment that reminds children of respect and responsibility for themselves, other people, and their environment creates boundaries, and the child is free within these boundaries. He can decide what to do, how long he will be busy, when to rest. Any behavior that harms themselves, others and their environment can show us that there is a lack of boundaries.
For example, when you go to the park, the fences around the park are a physical boundary for your child and they are free to decide which toys to play with within that boundary. Let’s not just consider the limit physically. Again, proceeding from the park example, your child is free to play with any friend he wants in the park, courtesy rules are his limit.
Take time to observe your child’s needs, behaviors and development so you can guide him in his journey. All these observations you will make will be your tool while preparing the environment for self-realization, guiding it and meeting its needs. Watch your child play by himself. Observe why he really enjoys, what he is angry with, or when he is tired.
For example, if you often have trouble leaving the house with your child, you can take notes and observe for a week. These observations will be light to figure out where the problem stems from. Or, instead of buying a pink tower because a friend of yours bought a cylinder with a handle for a child of the same age and is having fun, you can realize that he actually likes to move objects from one place to another at that time and offer a vehicle for him.
Give your child time to explore, experience, enjoy. Take part in his pleasure. Start the process a little earlier, rather than rolling over or putting on his shoes in a hurry when leaving the house. Let him examine the ant he saw on the way to the park with your child. There may be a bigger discovery than the park fun you are aiming for. Remember, process> result.
Use a rich language
Remember that in the 0-6 age period, your child is in the “absorbent mind” period, where he inhales everything around him like a sponge. Use the language correctly. Do not forget that the sponge draws clean water as well as dirty water. Name the objects by their real names. When you pass a tree, do not say a tree, say its type if you know it, if you don’t know it, learn it. 🙂
Using some of the above tips such as respect, independence and observation to apply the Montessori philosophy at home, you can set out with these steps to create a compassionate and supportive environment that will contribute to your family’s peace. The path will guide you.
* Montessoric Parenting is used for a parenting style that guides your child in the light of Montessori philosophy.